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Glenn Beck’s Gestapo Tactics — Assailing Obama and Progressives with Holocaust Imagery

Beck uses his Fox News perch to preach stunningly irresponsible history, and organize a movement dedicated to destroying progressives and Obama.
AlterNet / By Eric Burns
Eric Burns is the president of Media Matters for America.
January 27, 2010 |

When Glenn Beck aired an hour-long documentary titled “Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free or Die” last Friday, it marked a major turning point in the annals of television.

The film, narrated by Beck himself, purported to reveal “really disturbing and shocking stuff,” specifically the “dirty little secret” that progressive political beliefs led inexorably to “some of the most horrifying outcomes in history.” With help from interview subjects like Jonah Goldberg, author of the book Liberal Fascism, Beck linked the progressive political movement to such nightmares as China’s Cultural Revolution and Hitler’s gas chambers. Beck alternated images of the emaciated, tortured bodies of the victims he blamed on progressivism with archival footage of Goebbels, Stalin and Mao.

Behold, America, the future of conservative media.

There was a time when such stunningly irresponsible and historically dubious assertions were the province of isolated individuals holding homemade signs at rallies — but no longer. “The Revolutionary Holocaust” was watched by nearly four million Americans. And it was broadcast by one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, News Corporation, which made no effort to disassociate itself from the program’s content.

Partisan media — even rabidly partisan media — has existed in America for as long as our nation has. Vicious attacks against perceived political opponents aren’t anything new, either, and in that way, Glenn Beck is merely the latest polemicist willing to assault his enemies — as well as basic logic — in order to make a buck. (And he makes plenty.)

But never before has such commentary been hitched to the star of a multinational media conglomerate, one capable of beaming the resulting invective into hundreds of millions of homes in real time. Never before has a company as influential as News Corp. been willing to back a host like Beck in the face of mounting pressure from advertisers.

Even after 80 different sponsors announced they would no longer advertise on Beck’s show, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was still willing to personally defend the host, offering his own nonsensical defense of Beck’s infamous accusation that our nation’s first African American president harbored “a deep seated hatred for white people.”

“Even if you think I’m wildly irresponsible,” Beck said a few weeks ago, “you have to know that News Corp. is not stupid. It’s a company worth billions of dollars. Do you really think this corporation would risk everything on an irresponsible crazy guy?”

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Is Glenn Beck Finished?

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet. Posted August 24, 2009.

A Color of Change campaign has cost Beck’s show 36 advertisers so far. Will Fox decide he isn’t worth it?

In his eight months at Fox, Glenn Beck has repeatedly prophesied the advent of both Socialism and Fascism. He’s wished for Osama bin Laden to attack America. He’s hosted 911 truther Alex Jones on his show, and helped fan the bizarre conspiracy theory that FEMA plans to imprison dissidents in internment camps. He paces, rants and cries on the air like a crazy person. Once, he pretended to set someone on fire.

Beck’s weird theatrics and paranoid right-wing rants have earned him the 3rd highest ratings on Fox (Bill O’Reilly still regularly beats Beck, Sean Hannity beats him sometimes), even as liberals, many corporate media pundits and most non-crazy people shrink away with equal parts bewilderment, horror and disdain. The week before last Beck averaged 2.4 million viewers a day, edging out Hannity for the number 2 spot.

But a Color of Change campaign urging advertisers to drop Beck has already been so successful that Fox may have to reconsider whether Beck is worth it, despite his popularity with the right-wing fringe. At last count, 36 advertisers have pulled their advertising from Beck’s show. These include: GEICO, Radio Shack, SC Johnson, Progressive Insurance and Sprint. Last Monday Wal Mart – hardly a poster-child for progressive politics – also dropped Beck’s program.

Color of Change, an African-American grassroots organization devoted to ensuring that the interests Black Americans are represented in political life, launched their petition against Beck in response to the talk show host’s predictably over-the-top, bizarre contribution to the debate surrounding the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates. On a July 28th guest appearance on Fox and Friends, Beck pulled a popular right-wing trick – whining about reverse racism when confronted with real racism – and absurdly claimed, “The President has exposed himself as a guy … over and over and over again … who has a deep-seated hatred for white people … or the white culture…. I don’t know what it is”.

Even Brian “we’ve diluted our gene pool” Kilmeade gaped in shock, and asked Beck how the President could hate white people when almost his entire cabinet was made up of them. Beck clarified his point: “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.”

Beck’s comments set off a firestorm of controversy. “Has he gone to far?” headlines abounded. Talking heads slammed Beck for absurdly arguing that a man raised by a white mother and grandparents hated white people. Even fellow conservatives like Joe Scarborough expressed outrage. Like the standard fare peddled by many luminaries of right-wing hate talk, Beck’s accusation insinuated the President’s “otherness”, hinting at some nefarious plot to bring about general doom by way of Islam/socialism/fascism/racism/ACORN.

For Color of Change, Beck had crossed a line into flagrant racebating.

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